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As the light grew, so did the number of birds, the whisper of their wings rising now to an omnipresent swish, like fast-flowing water. Bellevue, WA 98004. When this was witnessed by a local conservationist, she quickly jumped into action, gathered help and shared the story of the Amur Falcon migration, from Siberia to South Africa and back. Ali & Ripley (1987) and Naoroji (2007) both noted that the birds fly across China to India and Bangladesh in the first stage of their massive flight across the ocean to Africa. The ride to the main roost site down by the reservoir took 45 minutes, and given the hour and the mood, no one had much energy or inclination to talk. The peak of the falcon migration neatly coincides with the seasonal, post-monsoon opening of Kaziranga National Park in neighboring Assam state, a UNESCO World Heritage site that attracts visitors from around the world. There was a constant drone in the air, and a monotonous chatter of birds. It was perhaps the largest non-human congregation anywhere on the Indian subcontinent. Occasionally, something would flap in a tree nearby, but it was too dark to see what it was, so we climbed the rickety ladder up the watchtower and waited. “Maybe…what? Once or twice we were startled by the explosive warning “bark” of the small forest deer known as muntjacs off in the blackness. Amur falcons were first satellite tracked along their migration route from Newcastle (South Africa) back to Mongolia in 2010. The males are dark gray above, paler below, with elegantly contrasting white wing linings and a splash of bright rufous on the thighs and undertail coverts. It was clear that government authorities would no longer turn a blind eye to the killing, which was officially illegal. The Amur was long lumped with the very similar Red-footed Falcon of western and central Eurasia. enjoys sharing stories about nature and is currently a Post-Doctoral fellow at the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science. How many? And even with incentives, there is no guarantee that people will make the best long-term decisions. In 2010 she was helping the state produce a book on Nagaland’s birds, hence the trip to Doyang. Sometimes a flock would dive close to the watchtower, and we could hear the crisp beats of their pointed wings. Today, bird migration is in crosshairs with development. Some of the men shifted to fishing in the new reservoir, despite forests of sunken trees that tore up their nets. Amur falcons are known to have among the longest migration routes, covering 22,000km. The Amur Falcons are birds of prey, about 28-31cm and weigh around 100 grams. Songbirds flitted about in the failing light—White-browed Scimitar-Babblers, all lanky and brown; pairs of Red-vented Bulbuls; flocks of hyperactive Yellow-bellied Fairy-Fantails. The story of the incredible Amur Falcon migration stopover in Nagaland, India, broke to international news in 2012. funded by donors like you. During their migration, they stop to rest and feed in parts of northeast India. For hours, we fishtailed and jolted along a rutted, muddy, single-track road through the low mountains, nervously watching the sun slide lower and lower. About 45 minutes after sunset, falcons began streaming in—first hundreds of birds a minute, then thousands, a sheet of movement against the band of orange and purple light on the west ern horizon. She told us how in October 2012, she and her friends were staring in wonder at thousands of falcons perching on electrical wires by the reservoir when two Naga women happened by, carrying what Bano thought were 60 or so dressed chickens. 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